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'Thanks to all those who inspired, encouraged and accompanied me'

Popular Parish Priest Fr Tom Looney has announced his retirement - in words typical of the GAA fanatic, he's says he's 'hanging up his boots'.

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Fr Tom Looney outside Fossa’s Prince of Peace Church this week as he announced his retirement. Photo by Michelle Cooper Galvin

Fr Tom Looney outside Fossa’s Prince of Peace Church this week as he announced his retirement. Photo by Michelle Cooper Galvin

Fr Tom Looney outside Fossa’s Prince of Peace Church this week as he announced his retirement. Photo by Michelle Cooper Galvin

In September 1962 - on the same weekend that Kerry won the minor and senior All-Irelands (Fr Tom reminds me) - a 17-year-old Tom Looney from Killarney walked through the doors of St Patrick's College in Maynooth, totally unaware that 58 years later and he would forge so many lasting friendships with parishioners.

Canon Tom turned 75 earlier this year, and last weekend he announced his retirement, immediately setting off a series of heartfelt tributes from across the county.

Fr Tom - as he is better known - is Parish Priest in Fossa since 2015, and someone who one might describe as 'Kerry through and through' having served in the Diocese of Kerry for four decades.